From the Archives of Tradition

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tradition-cabinetby R. Yitzchak Blau

Rabbi Shubert Spero was a community Rabbi in Cleveland before making aliyah and becoming a professor at Bar Ilan University.  His contributions to Tradition span five decades.  In this essay (Winter 1999), he reads the creation and flood stories of Bereishit as metaphors.  The various stages of the former convey punctuated evolution and divine guidance of the evolutionary process towards the formation of humanity. The latter instructs us about mass extinctions and why the Fertile Crescent was the area most encouraging of civilization progressing: link (PDF)

In a subsequent issue (Spring 2000), several readers challenged R. Spero.  Some asked when metaphoric readings are justified and others portraying his position as a deviation from our tradition.  The letters and his response appear here: link (PDF)

About Yitzchak Blau

Rabbi Yitzchak Blau is Rosh Yeshiva at Yeshivat Orayta and also teaches at Midreshet Lindenbaum. He is the author of Fresh Fruit and Vintage Wine: The Ethics and Wisdom of the Aggada and an Associate Editor of Tradition.

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